Last week, President Obama announced that he would not approve
TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. To construct across an international boundary, a company must have presidential
approval. TransCanada applied for this permit more than seven years ago,
and the issue finally came to a head on November 6.
Since the President’s rejection of the project, the Canadian oil
giant has contended that two lawsuits in Nebraska filed by landowners
against TransCanada no longer have merit. Domina Law Group begs to differ.
According to the firm, the lawsuits concern the constitutionality of a
law from 2012 that allowed Governor Dave Heineman to approve the pipeline’s route.
If the law,
LB 1161, is not struck down as unconstitutional, Domina Law Group says there is
nothing stopping other governors from approving pipeline routes in the future.
Omaha World Herald, paraphrasing
Attorney Brian Jorde, said:
Regardless, the landowners will continue to push forward with their constitutional
challenge of a state law that allows the governor to approve pipeline
routes. They want to see the law stricken so it can’t be used by
future pipeline developers.
The President made his decision based on information from the State Department’s
review, which concluded that KXL would not serve the national interest,
adding that the issue has taken a place of too much prominence in political
discourse over the years.
Most opponents of the pipeline focused on greenhouse gas emissions and
global warming. Most in favor of the pipeline project focused on benefits
like job creation and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Nebraska has
remained unique in the fight, instead focusing on private property rights
and preventing groundwater contamination.
About 100 Nebraska landowners held out, refusing to sign the easements
that would allow TransCanada to construct its pipeline across their property.
Landowners will continue their challenge of LB 1161 via the two lawsuits in
Holt and York Counties.